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Living Your Values, 2016

The Boy Who Was Too Fast

Hari Prasada Das


Wandering around Central Park, as I tend to, I came upon a boy racing through a quiet tunnel. He was small, perhaps six years of age, and had a resounding voice.

“Look at me! I won! I’m just too fast…” he shouted at a huffing and puffing little compatriot.

He was gleeful in his oozing pride. It was a sight to see.

I smiled. And I couldn’t help but wonder who’d taught him to say that. Or was it even taught verbally? Maybe he intrepidly took up the stance of his own accord.

Is it really so hard to imagine any child expressing his triumph boldly without fear of judgment at such an age? Yet, I confess that it plagued me to think this could be so natural for us as a species. It must have implications…

Why would it not be just as easy to proclaim a loss, or more positively, the win of the other? Are we such a self-obsessed lot from birth?

Experience tells me that the insecurities run deep. We have to prove our existence almost from the moment of existence. And this is learned merely by breathing in what’s already in the ether.

My mom once told me of her own upbringing:

“Being the child of Holocaust survivors, I had to prove I was worthy to have been given a life…”

That chilled me to the core. No one had to teach it to her. No one had to tell her that. She picked it up. Breathed it in.

And she still struggles with it courageously to this day. We all do, in our own ways, to varying degrees of intensity.

I felt pained for that gleeful boy and for the people he represents. True that he may not have outright learned to rub in the spoils of victory. But it’s never too late, or too early, to learn something more significant.

If we can learn selfishness so easily, why can we not learn selflessness? We have to be so conscious of the subtle selfish messages being sent in order to reverse them.

A tiny incident for a sportive little boy, happy to share his passion for living and strength of being, we can surely understand and accommodate. As a joke, we may ourselves tend to tease, and compete for fun. No harm done. But may we always do so with awareness of the implication if we are not aware…

When we relax our awareness, insecurity roams free and poses as a march of victory. We broadcast victory out of insecurity. Else, in the most cases, we’d be content with the winning itself.

It’s when we don’t feel the worth of our existence, we need others to tell us we’re worth it.

And I know that feeling all too well, especially as a writer!
My prayer is always to find worth from the impact of what I write and not from the insecurity that makes me need appreciation.

Where might we be blithely posting our exploits of insecurity for others to see? What if we reflect another way of being to ourselves and our future generations…?

It is never too late, or too early, to offer something more significant into the ether.

Ready to try broadcasting the victory of another without anything for you to gain yourself? Ready to let go of feeling important or selfless as the broadcaster?

If we were all standing ready to do this with our full hearts, what world would our children breathe in or inherit?

Hari Prasada Das

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